Yvon Chouinard is transferring ownership of Patagonia – valued at $3bn – to a specially-designed trust and non-profit organisation that will help fight the climate crisis.
‘Hey, friends, we just gave our company to planet Earth,’ tweeted Patagonia last night.
‘OK, it’s more nuanced than that, but we’re closed today to celebrate this new plan to save our one and only home.’
The apparel brand, which is renowned for the outdoor clothing it’s been selling for almost five decades, has long acted as a frontrunner in the push for more sustainability in fashion.
To date, it has donated $140m to the restoration of natural ecosystems.
Now, going even further to set an example in environmental corporate leadership, founder Yvon Chouinard is transferring ownership – which is valued around $3bn – to two entities that will help fight the climate crisis.
Both the trust and non-profit organisation have been specially designed to preserve Patagonia’s independence and ensure that all of its profits (some $100 million a year) are used to safeguard the Earth’s future, as well as protect undeveloped land across the globe.
BREAKING: Patagonia founder gives away the $3 billion company to a pair of trusts, with a mandate to give all profits (~$100 million/year) to fight the climate crisis.
This is a real game-changer, raising the bar on what a socially conscious business can look like.
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) September 14, 2022
Coming at a time of rising scrutiny towards the billionaires and corporations who keep contributing to the very problems they claim to be dedicated to solving, Chouinard’s decision to relinquish his fortune is in keeping with his enduring disregard for business norms. That, and a lifetime spent caring deeply about the environment.
‘Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,’ he told The New York Times in an exclusive interview.
‘We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.’